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Hélder Chambisse


Surf’s Up

Managing Director, BancABC Moçambique


Hélder Chambisse was born in Maputo, Mozambique. He studied Economics at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and holds a Master’s Degree in Financial Economics. He is reading for an MBA at Henley College, a part of Edinburgh University. Prior to joining BancABC in 2001 he had worked for the Central Bank of Mozambique for five years. Once at BancABC, he occupied several technical and managerial positions in credit, risk management, and corporate banking, and was appointed Deputy Managing Director in 2008, assuming the position of Managing Director in July of 2014.

"In the corporate environment it is all about relationships and the way you are able to service and assist the company."

What technology initiatives are you pursuing?

Internet banking is already active and is a platform that we use to service customers remotely from our distribution points. We also have a network of ATMs, although still relatively small. Another alternative channel that we will be focusing on in 2015 is mobile banking, which will enable us not only to offer additional services, but also to reach a wider range of current and potential customers. Agency banking is starting in Mozambique and we believe that it will grow. This has also caught our attention.

With respect to corporate banking, why should a large international company choose your bank?

In the corporate environment it is all about relationships and the way you are able to service and assist the company. There is little room for differentiation in that environment because all banks effectively offer the same products and are able to bring value added through products that meet customer requirements. We try to differentiate from that, interacting more with our customers and bringing in tailor-made solutions. Our track record has been positive, although dealing with a relatively small portfolio. We have, however, succeeded in dealing with the key players across all sectors, be it mining, energy, or transport.

What are your main investment and development plans for the near future?

Apart from the expansion of our branch network, with eight branches expected to be opened in 2015, we are also planning the building of a new head office as part of the whole range of investments that the bank has been making for the past three years. Meanwhile, our new shareholder Atlas Mara at Group Level will give us access to global markets, which will then allow increased investment to create capacity and enable us to increase our market share much faster.

What are your strategies to facilitate credit to SMEs and promote entrepreneurship?

Migrating to a wider customer base from all segments, from corporate to SME and personal banking, was a learning curve. We partnered with IFC from which we received technical assistance for two years. An IFC resident advisor worked with us on the methodology and processes for credit assessment and relationship management as well as recruiting and training suitable people. At the moment we are able to service the SMEs in a better way than we were before because we have the tools to assess them accurately, and a broader understanding of their nature and business.

Are you capitalizing on the boom in the construction sector?

Encouragingly, Mozambique is not only seeing investment in residential property, but also commercial and infrastructure as a whole, which is to include roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals. This is positive and banks have a role to play in terms of financing the construction itself, or else in the purchase of residential properties. BancABC is quite active in this, and dealing with numerous construction companies in the mortgage financing. We recently launched a mortgage product for retail customers, which was innovative in a way as would potentially allow more people to have access to housing.

“In the corporate environment it is all about relationships and the way you are able to service and assist the company.”

New players are entering the market with pension funds, insurance companies, and banks. How will these new entities impact the capital markets?

Hopefully this will bring more activity and liquidity to the capital markets and for the financial sector as a whole. Unfortunately, we have a financial market that is dominated by banks. Competition among the banks is forcing us to innovate new products to find fresh avenues for income and customer service. We definitely need new players, and a diversification of the financial sector, with insurance and pension funds being a good example.

© The Business Year – March 2015



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